Chris Evans might have had trouble “wrapping his head” around Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer” script, but at least the Marvel star could wrap his hands around everything on set. The “Captain America” actor revealed to GQ in a new interview (which you can watch in full in the below video) that starring in Bong’s 2013 post-apocalyptic sci-fi film proved to be a starkly different and more tangible experience than leading the Marvel ensemble movies.
Evans played a dissenting lower-class citizen in “Snowpiercer,” where the world’s remaining population live on an ever-moving train. “We had those cars on Gimbals, these little like … they just do like a subtle movement. So a lot of boat legs at the end of the day,” Evans said. “You are kind of wobbly, getting back to your hotel room.”
He added, “[It was] incredibly helpful with the tangible environment as opposed to Marvel when you’re talking to green screens, imaginary aliens. Everything was right there and you could touch.”
Evans recalled first being confused by the “Snowpiercer” script, saying, “When I first read the script, I didn’t quite get it. I was like, ‘So … what?’ Whenever it’s a movie that’s world-building, you’re creating a completely separate environment. There’s just kind of a conceit that you have to say, ‘OK, so everyone just accepts this, this is just how it is? No one is kind of outraged that this is the structure? That’s just the norm, OK.’ You kind of have to decide what part of your brain do you spend time wrapping your head around. Do you go the intimate road and just kind of make it about the character? Do you try and make it about what it took for that society to level into that place? It’s a challenge, but you get to watch Tilda Swinton in the movie and you get to watch her approach to this larger-than-life character.”
Evans continued, “We had some good rehearsal on that project as well. Director Bong is such a visionary. When you’re working with someone that knows exactly what they want, even if it’s not exactly the way you saw it, it breeds trust. And as an actor, that’s the most important thing, to trust the director. Otherwise, you’re playing defense. Otherwise, you’re like, ‘Alright, this first take, well, I’ll just do this, just so I can at least protect that. Then I’ll try this, but I don’t want to try that because I don’t know if they know how to use that take. Any take I give them can be used against me.’ And when you have a director who is so convinced of what their vision is, that’s when you say, ‘Great. You say jump, I’ll say “How high?”‘
The success of “Snowpiercer” went on to spur a TV show set in the same world.
In addition to Evans, other Marvel stars have since addressed working with green screen and VFX. Anthony Hopkins, who appeared in the “Thor” films, called it “pointless” acting and “Thor: Love and Thunder” actor Christian Bale admitted applying his typical Method techniques would have been “pitiful.”
“That’s the first time I’ve done that,” Bale said of working with green screens. “I mean, the definition of it is monotony. You’ve got good people. You’ve got other actors who are far more experienced at it than me. Can you differentiate one day from the next? No. Absolutely not. You have no idea what to do. I couldn’t even differentiate one stage from the next. They kept saying, ‘You’re on Stage Three.’ Well, it’s like, ‘Which one is that?’ ‘The blue one.’ They’re like, ‘Yeah. But you’re on Stage Seven.’ ‘Which one is that?’ ‘The blue one.’ I was like, ‘Uh, where?’”
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